Sorry I’m late. My discipline went on vacation, then missed its train, then slept through the alarm, then called in sick. Can you believe it? Yeah, me neither. All that aside, I missed sharing recipes with you, kind readers. What better outlet for my glaring food-talk issue than this little blog? Where else can I recall last night’s dinner in excruciating detail without clearing the room? My friends, family, neighbors, and colleagues have suffered enough. So I’m back. Thanks for sticking with me.
I’ve got a recipe for you. I’m weary of wintery braises and stews. I want something fresh and bright to remind me of warmer days. This recipe deserves a drum roll, or maybe a symphonic theme song, heavy on the strings. It’s a favorite around here. Let me list some reasons that you should run right out and buy some tuna post-haste.
Reason #1: Jewel-like beauty. The deep pink tuna and serene green avocado recall a half-open peony, batting its riotous eyelashes with the promise of Spring.
Reason #2: Texture. Ooh, la la. Each bite offers a nuanced nudge to the tongue. It’s melting, soft, and smooth. Tuna and avocado are already plenty sultry on thier own. Put them together, and they’re practically too luscious for primetime. Add some zing, crunch and kick (lime, shallots, and wasabi), and you’ve got a one-dish meal that satisfies every sense. Which brings me to
Reason #3: Flavor. This is a dish where tastes unfurl in rich and subtle layers, each more satisfying than the last. The interplay is everything. And last, but certainly not least
Reason #4: It’s quick. What more can you ask for? Fifteen minutes, folks. Fifteen minutes to a bowl of blushing fulfillment. Can you beat that?
This recipe is adapted from Ina Garten’s. I have four of Ina’s books, and I am here to tell you they are worth every penny of their hefty hardcover prices. You should all go out and buy one. You won’t be sorry. There. That’s my public service announcement. (And no, I don’t work for her publisher. I’ve never met her, despite the fact that I consider us on a first-name basis. I’ve never even seen her TV show, which is weird, right?)
TUNA & AVOCADO SALAD WITH WASABI-LIME DRESSING
2 pounds fresh tuna steaks, about an inch thick
4 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for brushing
2 teaspoons kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon coarsely ground black pepper
zest of two limes, chopped fine
1 teaspoon wasabi powder
6 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
2 teaspoons soy sauce
10 dashes Tabasco
2 large ripe avocados, large diced
1 shallot, sliced thinly
2 sliced green onions
1 tablespoon toasted sesame seeds
Brush room-temperature tuna steaks with olive oil, and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Grill (or sear in a hot sauté pan) for one and a half minutes on each side. Allow steaks to cool for a few minutes before chopping.
Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the olive oil, salt, pepper, lime zest, wasabi powder, lime juice, soy sauce and Tabasco.
Cut the tuna into chunks and place them in a large bowl. Add the shallots and dressing and mix gently. Add the avocado and mix gently again. Sprinkle each serving with green onion and sesame seeds.